About Us

   Larry Kuykendall was born in Roswell, New Mexico, in March of 1947.  He was the middle child of M. L. "Fate" Kuykendall, Jr. and Elaine Frazier Kuykendall.  Larry was raised on a farm near a small community called Dexter, about 15 miles south of Roswell in the Pecos Valley of Southeastern New Mexico. 

   When he was three years old, Larry came down with pneumonia and the doctors informed his parents that he wouldn’t live through the night.  His dad called together the men of the church and they prayed that God would heal the little boy. Fate told the Lord that if He would heal his boy, he would give him to the Lord for His service.  At this time, Southern Baptists weren’t supposed to believe in healing but the Bible says that the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, and Larry’s dad was a hard working, righteous man.  When Fate got back to the hospital, Larry was sitting up in the oxygen tent, completely healed and asking for a hamburger.  

   Musical talent came down from Larry’s mom’s side of the family as Elaine was an accomplished violinist.  She gave brilliant concerts as a young girl and was offered the first full violin scholarship ever given by North Texas State Women’s College. She played first chair in the Roswell symphony for years.

   One year, the family purchased a set of Encyclopedia Britannica and for doing so received a classical music album in the mail every month.  This was always looked forward to by the family and Larry especially, as it was just one more thing that helped instill in him appreciation for the classics (which can be heard coming through in his music today).   Larry’s desire to sing came when he was about twelve years old while he was eating breakfast.  Before the morning news would come on the radio, an Imperial Olio Margarine commercial came on the air and a few short bars were sung by Robert Merrill, the famed Metropolitan Opera baritone.  When out in the fields on the tractor, Larry must have imitated that margarine commercial ten thousand times, singing in whatever key the whine of the tractor engine would put him.  The mechanics at the shop could hear Larry singing over a half mile away.  

   After high school, Larry left the farm for college on an athletic scholarship to the University of Texas at El Paso…music was just an enjoyment. Within just a few months, Larry had lost weight down to 138 pounds. He was extremely tired and waited much too long before going to see a doctor, only to discover that he had hepatitis that would end the football scholarship. Having made friends and not wanting to leave UTEP, he thought perhaps he could try the only other thing that he felt he could do well which was singing. Larry auditioned for and received a small music scholarship. Had events not been as they were, Larry would never have been placed under the voice building instruction of one of the greatest vocal instructors in the world. Opera singers from New York, Italy and Germany would come to Texas to study under Dr. E. A. Thormodsgaard.  In 1972, Larry was the only candidate out of 800 vocal auditions to receive a full scholarship to the Metropolitan Opera Studios in New York (he eventually declined the scholarship).  

  The Scriptures tell us that God can take what was meant for bad and turn it into good.  Had Larry not gotten ill that first year of college, he may have never written a song or sung for the Lord.   In his senior year of college, Larry got into the sport of dirt bikes and of course got himself a big one.  One day while competing with a few friends at distance jumping, Larry went a little too fast, too high and too far.  He came down throat first into the corner of a tin roof on a chicken coop.  The point of the tin “just happened” to hit him directly in the chin strap and probably prevented fatal injury.  However, his vocal chords had two puncture wounds and the doctor told him that the scar tissue would prevent him from ever singing again.   A few weeks later, still unable to speak without a buzzing sound, Larry told the Lord that if He would heal his voice, he would only sing for Him.  The Lord healed him and two months later Larry sang the bass solo role for Handel’s Messiah with the El Paso Symphony.  To this day, the only music that Larry will write or sing is for the Lord.  

   After college, Larry became a music teacher and there met Elaine Oppenheim who substituted on a regular basis, and they married in June of 1977.  There were approximately 15 people who made decisions  for the Lord that afternoon so it was a glorious day for more than just Larry and Elaine.  Not long after Larry and Elaine were married, Larry was in his classroom without students present when music began to come to him.  The words to the verses came so fast he could hardly write them down. As he wrote, he realized (with goose bumps to spare) that the words were not coming from him but from the Lord. 

   Soon after, a man by the name of Moishe Rosen brought his group, Jews for Jesus, from Los Angeles to El Paso and through various circumstances heard that first song "What Kind of Man." Moishe asked Larry if he would sing it to start off their concert and Larry was accompanied on the piano by a good friend, J.O. Stewart (who would later be primarily responsible for enabling everything to happen).  Moishe was the first person to encourage Larry to write more songs and make an album.  J.O. had just built a beautiful recording studio that he made available.  Elaine was pregnant with their first child by this time and would drop in occasionally to listen to the recording sessions.  This is when Terah, their daughter, not yet born, would begin dancing to the music.  "What Kind of Man," the album named after the song, was the first album out of J.O.’s studio.  

   A few months after Terah was born, the little Kuykendall family would head out to minister at churches on the weekends and during the summer months.  Both Larry and Elaine made the decision to quit teaching and go on the road full time.  This was a struggle as getting services for a little known Christian musician was not easy.  They decided to test market by contacting a few radio stations and asking disc jockeys to listen to some of the songs and play them over the air.  On every station, "What Kind of Man" went to number one and "Behold the Lamb of God" when to number two.  From there, Larry would get concerts and arrange for local bookstores to carry the albums and cassette tapes.  

   In 1981, a new daughter, Sarah was born.  The four Kuykendalls traveled in an old Volkswagen van around the country and then eventually a not so new Mercury Cougar station wagon with a luggage carrier on top.  Driving down the long roads in a car packed with sound gear and a little family all singing together are still special memories.  Little Terah could really belt it out - her favorite song was “I’ll Fly Away.”  Elaine, a graduate of Life Bible College, would often bless the family by singing herself.  Larry was always amazed at how she could remember all of the words to all of the verses of so many songs from the old Four Square hymnbooks. 

In 1982, Larry's dad had a non-fatal heart attack, so the family moved back to the Kuykendall family farm in Dexter, New Mexico.  This was a blessing for the family, as they could be immersed in the musical heritage the Kuykendalls so richly possessed.   Jewish Voice Broadcast out of Phoenix, Arizona, made a music video of several of Larry’s songs in the Sedona Mountains.  These were aired nationwide for several years.  A second album was produced in 1984, entitled The Lamb-The Lion. When the girls started school, Larry was out on the road for sometimes weeks at a time. 

   Tragedy struck the young Kuykendall family as Elaine was diagnosed with breast cancer.  After five years of battle, Elaine finally got to see Jesus and the streets of gold.  Terah was 12 and Sarah was 9 when their mom went to be with the Lord.   Almost three years later, Larry’s niece, Kelly Hardaway, who lived in Midland, Texas, arranged for him to meet one of her nursing colleagues.  Larry and Rae Ann married in December of 1993, just as she graduated from the Knowing Him Bible Institute.  Rae Ann has two sons: James – 22 and John – 19 at the time.  John left Midland and moved in with Larry two weeks prior to the wedding.  James stayed in Midland until he joined the army and ended up stationed in Georgia where he was a member of the Georgia National Guard and served our country in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  He has since married Adelita, and they have a little girl (Ava) and a little boy (Zachary).  James is in the process of starting his own business.  John has one daughter, Kylie, and two sons, Noah and Aaron. Devastatingly, Aaron went to be with the Lord in 2015. John runs two of his own businesses.  Terah (an artist and musician) and her husband,  Donny, live in San Antonio, Texas. Sarah lives in San Antonio as well, and works as a furniture specialist for JLL, a facilities management group contracted with USAA. Both girls sing on The Plan of the Ages.

   In 1995 and 1996, three songs written by Larry were chosen to be performed in Jerusalem during the nation of Israel’s 3,000th birthday celebration attended by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Knesset and other world leaders.   At present, Larry teaches Math and Science at the New Mexico Youth Challenge, which is a partnership program between Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell and the New Mexico National Guard.  The program is designed to help young people (who are either on probation or have dropped out of school for various reasons) get their lives turned around and hopefully obtain their GED.

   Rae Ann has been an amazing source of encouragement and support to Larry.   "Plan of the Ages" has been under construction for several years and has been re-written and re-designed several times.  The songs came rather easily but in a most unusual manner.  Larry would get the music first.  Then Rae Ann would listen to the music and would know what part of the story the song would be about.  Larry would then get the words (definitely not the most orthodox way to compose music!).   By listening to the demo cuts on this site, you should agree that this was no small undertaking.  Your prayers for "Plan of the Ages" are most welcome and appreciated.